What's the Benefit of Playing Board Games?
Updated: Feb 14
There has been quite a resurgence in the popularity of board games with everyone cooped up at home during the pandemic. For many people, playing board games connects them with their past, but the benefits of playing board game actually far surpasses a reconnection with a distant past. Sure, playing board games is entertaining, but that is only one benefit of board game playing.
Here are some benefits of playing board games:
1. Board games offer opportunities for early learning.
Even simple games help young players identify colors, count spaces, and develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity in moving cards and pieces around the board. Plus, learning to wait your turn and follow the rules are important social lessons that serve kids far beyond the living room floor.
2. They get older kids' brains buzzing, too.
Board games are an easy way to encourage healthy brain development in older kids and teens. Strategy games are useful in helping the frontal lobes of the brain develop. Those frontal lobes are responsible for executive function skills, which include planning, organizing, and making good decisions.
3. They boost their language skills.
Board games can be a sneaky way of helping school-aged kids work on skills they’re struggling with. Have a reluctant reader? A round of the BOB Books Happy Hats Beginning Reading Game will help them expand their vocabulary and flex their spelling skills.
Meanwhile, games in which players have to remember several pieces of information at once (who did what, and where) might help a child who’s having trouble with reading comprehension — all while still having fun.
4. They sharpen your child's focus.
When played without interruptions board games can help lengthen a child's attention span. But to reap the benefits, everyone needs to commit to seeing the game through to the end.
If your family sits down for a game of Chinese checkers, be sure to complete a full game without everyone checking their phone, asking Alexa to play a song, or turning on the TV for the latest football scores. Finishing a board game without interruptions will help lengthen the declining attention span of kids in a world filled with digital distractions.
5. They teach the value of teamwork.
Board games often offer kids meta-messages about life: Your luck can change in an instant, for better or for worse. But in addition to teaching them that nothing is guaranteed, board games are a good way to encourage kids of different ages to team up and work together — something they'll need to do throughout life. Form teams of older kids working with their younger siblings, or choose a game like The Brainiac Game or Race Across the USA, which have questions tailored to grades 1to 6, so everyone is challenged fairly.
6. Board games are an alternative to time out.
The next time you find yourself going through a rough patch with one of your kids, consider playing a board game together instead of sending them to their room. Board games can be used as a mechanism to work on the parent-child relationship. They can also be used to increase frustration tolerance in a child.
In other words, taking turns and practicing patience during a game — even when things don't go their way — can help little ones practice more respectful responses than stomping off and slamming their bedroom door shut.
7. Board games soothe anxiety.
They may help anxious kids learn how to navigate friendships more easily. Since they're structured, board games can provide an easier way to build interpersonal relationships with peers, since the child knows what's expected of them. For kids who struggle with striking up conversations with others, games, such as guessing and discussion games, can promote structured opportunities for chatter.
8. They show kids how to be a good loser.
If you're playing with a child who has low frustration tolerance, and losing is really difficult for them, allowing them to break the rules at first can make the game more tolerable and fun for them. But keep on encourage them to play by the rules and to use coping skills which will promote resilience when things don't go their way.
For instance, you might say: "I'm so proud of you for staying calm even though you picked a card you didn't like. I hope next time you pick a good one!"
9. Board games are a great way to unplug.
The lack of technology required to play board games makes them special. Board games are a simple way to get quality, screen-free time with the kids — and you might be surprised by how much they love playing.
Families are struggling to find the balance between digital and real-life connections, but board games provide a tool for that emotional connection to each other. Order pizza and make it a way to celebrate the start of the weekend together!
By keeping all these benefits of playing board games in mind, the game developers at Tiny Sprouts® have laboriously created Empower Empathy™, one of a kind board game that is not only fun to play, but can also can teach important soft skills like communication skills, conflict resolution, empathy, emotional awareness, emotional regulation, executive functioning, growth mindset, and social skills.
Don't forget to subscribe NOW ➡️ to our email list to get on our exclusive VIP Launch List to receive 10% off when Empower Empathy™ launches to practice Empathy in a fun way! 🚀
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